Will Try To Do Better Than Vinesh Phogat, Says Antim Panghal

In a virtual conference on Thursday, two times U-20 World Championship winner Antim Panghal claimed to perform better than Vinesh Phogat in the Asian Games 2023.

Antim Panghal

In a virtual conversation on Thursday, Antim Panghal, who just became the first Indian woman wrestler to win back-to-back U-20 World Titles, stated that she is attempting to outperform the seasoned wrestler Vinesh Phogat.

 Earlier she had filed a petition against Phogat in the court claiming she was given the direct entry into the Asian Games but she had lost her petition. And because of a knee injury, Phogat had to pull out of the Asian Games.

 Panghal is aware of her decorated senior’s achievements. Vinesh is an Asian Games Champion, has won multiple Asian championship medals and also the only Indian woman wrestler to win two World Championship medal. Although she failed in winning any medal despite featuring in two olympics ; Rio in 2016 and Tokyo in 2021.

 "Vinesh is a very good wrestler, she has medals in Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Championships but I try do better than her. Work harder than her to try to do better than her. My practice is going very well. I will be appearing in the world trials tomorrow. I have been practising for Asian Games for long", Panghal said.

 Both Panghal and Phogat wrestle in the 53kg category. Their rivalry started when Phogat was automatically selected for the Asian Games despite Panghal winning the trials. And now when Panghal has defended her 53kg crown in the U-20 World Championships in Jordan, expectations from her side has increased.

 Panghal claimed that after she was left off of the squad for the previous year's Commonwealth Games, her life and approach to wrestling were altered. After falling to Phogat in the closing seconds of the eagerly anticipated match at the Birmingham Games trials, she began to play the game more seriously.

 "After last year's Commonwealth Games trials, I was determined to do well at the senior level. I started to fight good bouts. Earlier, I used to just think about junior but after that I got the confidence that I can perform well at the senior level as well. My life changed after that, I started to concentrate more on training. But I know I will have to work harder at the senior level," she added.

 Panghal is very confident of her performance and is determined to win more and more medals for India. "Pressure is there to win medals, but medal gives you motivation," she concluded.